In fact, there's often a major conflict created by trying to grow most businesses by simply adding more leads to the mix, something we discovered after operating for 5 years as a digital marketing agency specializing in inbound lead generation.
It's the same problem just about every marketing agency, digital or otherwise, faces when trying to help businesses derive value from their services.
They are simply not focusing on the kinds of KPIs that get business leaders like you out of bed in the morning.
Comparing Marketing, Sales, Technology, and Growth Agencies
The easiest way to define a "growth agency" is to compare them to more commonly known services, such as marketing, sales, and technology firms. Through this comparison, you'll see how growth agencies consolidate a highly fragmented industry through partnerships and centralized leadership.
Marketing agencies are going to pitch a whole bunch of different ideas for helping you grow your business, but they're going to focus on marketing KPIs. This is an important part of the sales funnel that shouldn't be ignored, but marketing KPIs fall short in their sphere of influence in terms of growth.
If working with a digital marketing agency, they may be responsible for:
- Website traffic & other website-related stats, like bounce rate
- Likes, followers, shares
- Leads generated
Other, more traditional agencies may be responsible for harder to measure outcomes, such as:
- Video ads
- Marketing materials
It's not hard to see the value of those things, but it's certainly difficult to calculate it.
Sales agencies are going to offer similar KPIs, only geared more toward sales. More involved sales agencies address direct KPIs:
- Calls made
- Appointments set
- Opportunities generated
Leadership agencies, help enable success with your existing teams and systems:
- Sales coaching
- Sales enablement
- Sales & marketing alignment
Technology agencies help businesses operate at maximum efficiency. In my personal experience, they are the most overlooked aspect of businesses looking to grow and scale, but typically the most desperately needed.
They implement, update, and modernize the customer management system. Their goal is to automate as much as possible, and usually entail:
- CRM - sales management software (Salesforce, Zoho, SAP, etc)
- Marketing - automation and analytics (Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, etc)
- Service - record-keeping & customer service (SAP, Oracle, etc)
- Accounting - billing automation and bookkeeping (QB, Xero, etc)
To many, this feels like a "big company" solution, not things you'd necessarily worry about at they level they are today. But if your goal is to scale your business, there is no better starting point in my opinion. This is how you'll determine where your money is best spent, and when to walk away from bad investments.
Growth agencies combine these different, but complimentary concepts together that each play a role helping businesses grow.
What defines a competent growth agency is their flexibility to do a lot and scale quickly, and show no bias in the growth plans they develop for you. Meaning, they're not trying to back into a singular concept, like SEO, social media marketing, or inbound lead generation.
But they'll still find a way to replicate past successes with future clients and ongoing iterations for existing clients.
- Sales Infrastructure Implementations
- Sales Enablement
- Sales-driven Website Development
- Inbound Lead Generation
- Sales & Marketing Alignment
- Sales Coaching
When they have the talent on their bench that you need, but the core services offered aren't necessary, they should also be able to provide consultants to carry out the specialized work.
Growth agencies consolidate marketing, sales, and technology services to organize and manage a single vision through centralized leadership. They are unbiased, and address the problems present with your business today, while building the road to tomorrow.
Get started on your growth planning with this free introductory guide!